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Oakland at Kansas City

Venue: Kauffman Stadium
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The Kansas City Royals' lackluster record might be even more meager without their occasional showcases of grittiness.

After rallying for their first victory against the Oakland Athletics this season, the Royals will try to close out the three-game series in winning style Sunday.

Kansas City (41-43) hasn't been over .500 since May 18, but recorded its major league-best 28th comeback victory and third this month Saturday. Jarrod Dyson drove in the go-ahead run in a 4-3 win with a two-out infield single in the eighth inning.

"Sometimes games aren't going to go our way, but we aren't going to hang our heads," said Dyson, who had a season-high three hits after going 0 for 10 in his previous four games. "We're going to keep battling. You can see it in here, see it out there. Everybody is working hard every day."

The victory snapped Oakland's five-game win streak in the series, and Luis Mendoza (2-4, 4.41 ERA) will try to follow by earning his first victory against the A's (51-37).

Mendoza is 0-1 in three career starts versus Oakland despite posting a 1.98 ERA. He gave up three runs over six-plus innings in his only matchup this season, a 4-3 loss May 19.

Mendoza is 0-1 with a 5.74 ERA in his last three outings and didn't make it past the fourth inning for only the second start this season Tuesday against Cleveland. He gave up four runs and matched a season high with four walks in a 6-5 loss, but didn't get a decision.

"I was just trying to figure what was wrong with my mechanics and my release points," said the right-hander, who threw 86 pitches in four innings.

Mendoza will again pitch opposite A.J. Griffin (6-6, 3.95), who gave up three runs over six innings without a decision in his lone appearance against Kansas City.

Griffin was charged with seven runs and a career-high 10 hits Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs but avoided the loss when his teammates rallied for an 8-7 win. He recorded his first career shutout and complete game - a two-hitter - in his previous outing June 26 against Cincinnati.

"I felt fine out there," Griffin told the team's website. "They just got the big hit when they needed it. I felt like I was making good pitches, and they really didn't make hard contact that much. I'm just fortunate enough to be on a team that scores a ton of runs."

The A's are trying for an eighth win in 11 games and Grant Balfour is in position to establish a franchise record by converting 41 consecutive saves. Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley converted 40 in a row Sept. 15, 1991-Aug. 7, 1992.

Kansas City's Eric Hosmer, batting .406 with five homers in his last eight games, hit an RBI double off Griffin in May. Alex Gordon went 3 for 3 against the right-hander in that game.

Gordon returned Saturday after missing two games following a collision with the bullpen fence in Wednesday's 6-5 victory over Cleveland.

Jed Lowrie is 3 for 6 with two doubles all-time against Mendoza, and Seth Smith is 3 for 5 with a double.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Probable Starters

A.J. Griffin, RHP
2013 stats
109.1 Innings Pitched 79.2
6-6 Wins-Losses 2-4
3.95 Earned Run Average 4.41
26 Walks 34
87 Strikeouts 51
101 Pitches Per Start 90
Career vs. opponent
6.0 Innings Pitched 16.1
0-0 Wins-Losses 0-2
4.50 Earned Run Average 3.31

Luis Mendoza, RHP
Weather
weather image  Partly sunny. Hot.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
92°F74°F14mph/S42%14%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Oakland1st AL West5734.626-6-4 L 1
Kansas City2nd AL Central4743.5224 ½ 6-4 W 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Luis Mendoza
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Smith53010.600
Sogard21000.500
Lowrie63011.500
Norris31000.333
Moss31002.333
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs A.J. Griffin
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Gordon330001.000
Hosmer21010.500
Butler31001.333
Escobar31000.333
Collins000000
 

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Injuries
Oakland
PlayerInjury
K. BlanksCalf
C. CrispAnkle
A. GriffinElbow
J. ParkerElbow
D. PomeranzHand
J. ReddickKnee
Kansas City
PlayerInjury
N. AokiGroin
A. GordonWrist
L. HochevarElbow
M. MoustakasIllness
D. ValenciaHand, wrist
J. VargasIllness
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Mar 31DETDET 4-3Nathan Davis 
Apr 2DETDET 2-1Alburquerque Collins 
Apr 3DETPPD   
May 2KCDET 8-2Porcello Shields 
May 3KCDET 9-2Smyly Duffy 
May 4KCDET 9-4Verlander Vargas 
Jun 16DETKC 11-8Vargas Verlander 
Jun 17DETKC 11-4Ventura Scherzer 
Jun 18DETKC 2-1Guthrie Smyly 
Jun 19DETDET 2-1Sanchez Duffy 
Jul 10KC 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 11KC 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 12KC 7:10 PM EDT  
Jul 13KC 2:10 PM EDT  
Sep 8DET 4:08 PM EDT  
Sep 9DET 7:08 PM EDT  
Sep 10DET 7:08 PM EDT  
Sep 19KC 8:10 PM EDT  
Sep 20KC 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 21KC 2:10 PM EDT